Director of Tourism and Marketing | Visit Lufkin
Tara Hendrix began her career with the City of Lufkin in December of 2021.
Tara Hendrix wasn’t born in Lufkin, but she got here as quick as she could. Moving to Lufkin at age four with her family, from the Houston area. Tara is a graduate of Central High School and a Tyler Junior College Apache Belle. She graduated in 2005 from Stephen F. Austin State University with a degree in Hospitality Administration. She has spent nearly 20 years in the hospitality industry working for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and traveling the country by luxury rail car with Union Pacific Railroad.
Tara and her husband Jared with their two children moved back to Lufkin in 2015. It wasn’t long before she found her place at the Lufkin | Angelina Chamber of Commerce, which ignited a passion for the city of Lufkin and its economic growth. This passion lead her to the Visit Lufkin with the desire to create a greater impact on our city.
“While having the opportunity to live in and travel to some of America’s top cities, I began to realize more and more that there is no place like home.” Hendrix said. “There is a reason we say, ‘You’ll Love Lufkin’ and I’m truly honored to join the City of Lufkin as the Director of Tourism and Marketing.”
The Visit Lufkin team is passionate about their mission to enhance Lufkin’s economy and quality of life by marketing and advocating for the development of Lufkin as a premier travel and tourist destination.
Communication and Community Development | Visit Lufkin | Lufkin Creative
Natalie Howard has been with the Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau since November of 2020.
Natalie was born in Mobile, Alabama and moved to Lufkin in 2018. Moving from a big city with a population of 191,000 to a small city of only 30,000 was a huge culture shock for her, but she was ready to take on the experience. Natalie attended Faulkner State after graduating high school. She is currently enrolled and will soon earn her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Marketing. She has a wide background in the Hospitality and customer service Industry. From Restaurant Management to Event planning and Marketing. Specializing in aesthetics for Catering and events.
You may be wondering what brought Natalie to Lufkin, TX? Her husband, Lance accepted a position with a local Real Estate and Development Company. After 37 years in Alabama, Natalie and her family relocated to Lufkin, and they couldn’t be happier with that decision!
“Lufkin feels like home. I feel like I have been here my whole life” says Natalie. The saying is true, you’ll love Lufkin!
Natalie looks forward to continuing to serve as a City of Lufkin employee. With some major events under her belt and some fresh new ideas, she is happy and eager to help Lufkin grow!
Marketing & Social Media Specialist | Visit Lufkin
Introducing Karina Sotelo, a dynamic Marketing and Social Media Specialist with a passion for both photography and community growth. With an impressive background in running her photography business, 1992 Portraits, since 2012, Karina's journey has been nothing short of transformative. Throughout her entrepreneurial journey, Karina has honed her marketing and social media skills, making them an integral part of her success. She has a keen eye for recognizing and embracing the latest trends, always striving to bring fresh and innovative looks to her work.
Beyond being a skilled photographer, Karina's photography business has instilled in her a profound love for the arts and nurtured a growth mindset. This experience has not only enhanced her creative abilities but has also shaped her exceptional ability to communicate and connect with people. As a certified UX and UI designer, Karina possesses a deep understanding of user experience and visual aesthetics, which she seamlessly incorporates into her marketing strategies. She thrives on capturing the city's creativity and uses her photography expertise to showcase the essence and beauty of her community.
Now as a Marketing and Social Media Specialist for Visit Lufkin, Karina is delighted to contribute to her community's growth and prosperity. Her aspiration is to increase awareness about the city's charm and wonders, inviting more people to fall in love with Lufkin through captivating visuals and compelling storytelling. With a focus on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, while exploring other social media avenues, Karina aims to reach a wide audience and foster an engaged online community. Her goal is to ensure that everyone on social media becomes aware of the vibrancy and excitement that Lufkin has to offer.
Karina firmly believes that a well-crafted photo can evoke powerful emotions and aims to use her photography skills to make people truly connect with their city. Through her work, she envisions inspiring a profound appreciation for Lufkin and a deep sense of pride among its residents and visitors alike. With a blend of artistic flair, marketing acumen, and a passion for community, Karina Sotelo is all set to leave an indelible mark as a Marketing and Social Media Specialist for Visit Lufkin, bringing her unique perspective and skills to create captivating campaigns that celebrate the city's spirit and allure.
Administrative Assistant | Visit Lufkin
Lynn DeLuise is new to Lufkin and very recently joined the Visit Lufkin team as an Office Assistant in September 2023. She and her husband moved from Washington state in June 2021 and her adult children followed in 2022. When deciding to leave Washington, they knew they wanted to move to Texas and fell in love with the Pineywoods.
Lynn was raised in Las Vegas, NV and has a degree from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada and brings her experience in hospitality to her work at Visit Lufkin.
SFA Intern | Visit Lufkin
Alyssa is currently an intern working for her degree at Stephen F. Austin University. Alyssa was born in Corpus Christi but moved to Lufkin and graduated from Central High School. In 2021 Alyssa moved to Dallas, Tx but could not stay away for long, moving back to Lufkin in 2023 to finish off her degree in Hospitality Administration. She is new to the hospitality field with only 4 years of experience but plans to add many more in the years to come. Alyssa specializes in charity, corporate, and personal events.